For the second week in a row the DP World Tour produced a great tournament that, again, went to the final hole and resulted on a second tour win for the respective winners: Ockie Strydom in Singapore and Daniel Gavins the previous week in the UAE.
In the RAK championship Gavins was cruising to victory then had, what can only be described as, a meltdown.
As Daniel was playing the final hole, one of the players in front, Alexander Björk, played the hole conservatively but 3 putted to finish out on 16 under. Daniel’s double bogey was enough to secure 17 under but it brought a player in the final group of the day into play.
Zander Lombard managed to hit the par 5 in two shots and he had a look at eagle. He proceeded to two putt and end up on 16 under in a tie for second
It was a truly enthralling end to a great tournament and such a contrast to Daniel’s first victory where he was hanging around for hours as others fell apart.
Ockie won in Singapore with a birdie blitz. He and Sami Valimäki stretched away from the field with the winner again not decided until the 72nd hole. Although they were not playing together the way they played the hole was similar. Both missed the par 5 in two, both were close to the green but you would say that Sami had the best opportunity.
Ockie was in a horrendous position but managed to pull off the shot of the week and chip to tap in range. Valimäki’s chip from the rough bounded past the hole and he was left with a look to make a birdie and get into a playoff.
The cameras focused on Sami’s face. You could see him make the putt and his head rise to track the ball. Then the groan from the crowd and the acceptance that this was not to be. He was chasing his second win also.
Ockie had shot a 9 under par final round for a 19 under total to win by one. It’s hard to believe that the tour can produce two such great endings back to back.
Congratulations to all. It was thrilling. Did you watch it? What did you think?
As a side note, there was a minor disappointment with my fantasy captain of the week missing the cut. You can’t have everything I guess. On to Bangkok – what lies in store there I wonder?